“A search for my identity “ by Laura Marconi

Oil on Arches oil paper 
17 x 24

A friend of mine was telling me that the viewers like to know what is the story behind a work of art.
More specifically we were talking about those black, white and blue paintings done in Iceland.
My visual perceptions of the landscape, was combined with the cognition that soon I was going to lose the last person in my immediate family. With her gone I would have had no one to remind me of our memories, our history.
Later on I also realized that I couldn’t see all the colors in the landscape, because in this work I was expressing my feelings of loss at a subconscious level.
My original home was becoming part of the past.
At the same time, I was finding a deep connection to a place I’m not from, with Iceland.
So what is the external and internal meaning of “Home” in my case?
As I moved from place to place throughout my life, did I find a home again and again?
Or maybe did I ever leave my original home?
Is “familiarity” what makes a house a home?
Home is the place where you love to live, it is a known space, our earliest memories of home are often associations with our childhood. It is a center where we feel safe, although it might not be so for many of us. A home is made of love, hope, sorrows, all kind of emotions, and reflects our personality.
Home is also part of our cultural identity, it is made of a particular community and the way in which our lives are lead. It influences how people relate and communicate with each other, and it differs from place to place.
When I was 25 I decided to leave Rome, Italy, searching for myself, looking for the unknown. Was it an escape? Was it my desire for adventures? Was I looking for “MY” idyllic home? Did I find it? Or, am I still searching for it? Or was I looking for MY identity?
This de-centering of my previous self was originated by my choice, I was creating a new history. It was not possible for me to know my new identity since it required my knowledge of social, cultural and political aspects in this foreign country. These new discoveries destabilized my notion of the self, my relationship with my unconscious life. To use a new language was also displacing all the old things that words meant.
How do you find a home than?

From “The Bones of Grace” by the Bangladesh novelist Tahmina Anam:
“I don’t believe you can ever go home. I don’t believe you can make [global] movements and remain unchanged. I don’t think it’s just the condition of the immigrant. It’s the condition of modern life. So few of us are born, grow up and die in one place. Those movements fundamentally alter us.”

In every locations I was always looking for a home. I was connecting this search, with my identity, and my deeper self. Maybe I was searching for a sense of peace as well.
This is when I found myself in Iceland in 2013 at my first artists residency. And I have been coming back ever since.
Growing up every summer I would go to the mountains, being there takes me back to that time, to my childhood, to my happiest memories, to my connection with nature, to a freedom, and a spirituality within myself. It has humbled me, and has given me peace.
Being from Rome I also love the hustle and bustle of cities, their cultural opportunities, people coming and going everywhere….

My interest in coming to JIWAR in Barcelona, is another search for my identity and my roots. From my mother side we are originally from Spain, probably from the Basque region. I’m here absorbing this city with his glorious past and present, I’m reflecting while I’m exploring, and feeling this place. I look at the faces, and I see my family. It is said that Italians and Spaniards are cousins because we have so much in common.
During my stay I will gather as many informations as I can, and these will show in my work.

I now realize that a Home is not as much one physical place for me. One’s life is made of so many stories, so many people, so many places.
I’m still the same person who grew up in Rome, that was my original home. Home is also compounded by all the places that I have lived and visited.
I am an immigrant living in the States, a citizen of both countries, a traveler searching for my truth.

Laura Marconi

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